Horst Fransico Schirmer was arrested on Feb. 9 2017, and has been in custody for 694 actual days which have been credited to time and a half totalling 34 months in jail. (File Photo/Black Press Media)

Convicted drug trafficker asks Victoria courtroom for chance to ‘turn this around’

Horst Schirmer sentenced for convictions on five counts of possession related to trafficking

“I want to work on being a better person,” convicted drug trafficker Horst Fransico Schirmer told a Victoria courtroom during his sentencing hearing Tuesday afternoon.

Crown is seeking a seven-year sentence for Schirmer’s crimes: five convictions of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Crown counsel Oren Bick said Schirmer is a high-level drug trafficker, sophisticated enough in his operation to use another person’s home to stash drugs.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Oak Bay mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of inquest into overdose death

Bick said Crown came to that conclusion based on the trial and conviction of Schirmer’s accomplice, John Turner, whose Qu’Appelle Street apartment was used as the stash house and who claimed Schirmer was the “principle” of the operation. Schirmer had been under surveillance by police, who said he was seen at the stash house numerous times, in what they described as behaviour consistent with that of a drug dealer.

Bick told the court that Schirmer was found to be in possession of one of only two keys to a large safe located within the Qu’Appelle residence. Within that safe, police located and seized various drugs including methamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA, heroin and heroin mixed with fentanyl, along with several notebooks that contained score-sheets and a white envelope containing $1,000 in cash with the words ‘Attention, attorney trial retainer Donald McKay’ hand written on the outside.

Bick stated the total value of the drugs seized was between $68,600 to $89,200 and that the score-sheets found in the safe matched photocopies found in Schirmer’s bedroom at his house on Admirals road in Esquimalt. Bick also stated that police seized 827 grams of a cutting agent from Schirmer’s apartment along with two car jacks that had been modified to press substances.

According to Bick, aggravating factors of the case include Schirmer’s criminal history, the nature and quantity of the drugs seized and the sophistication of the crimes — citing the stash house as a method used by Schirmer to put distance between himself and the operation.

Schirmer was arrested Feb. 9 2017 and has been in custody for 694 days which have been credited at time and a half – totalling 34 months in jail.

READ ALSO: Opioid overdoses claimed more than 3,200 lives in first nine months of 2018

Schirmer’s defence attorney Chris Johnson agreed the offenses were serious, but said seven years was too severe a punishment for his client, who he asked to have sentenced as a “mid-level trafficker.”

“There’s a doubt between being a mid-level and high-level trafficker here,” Johnson said. “And that doubt ought to work in Mr. Schirmer’s favour.”

Johnson’s argument was based partially in the ‘principle of totality’ which states that while sentences may be fit for each count, they are too harsh when applied consecutively.

Johnson described Schirmer’s “disorganized and transient childhood” which saw him allegedly abandoned in Brazil by his mother and displaced numerous times before arriving in Seattle at 15 years old, where he “started to associate with the wrong people” and became involved in drug use – moving to Victoria the same year, where he’s stayed since.

Schirmer had a chance to address the courtroom and said that if he can find schooling and better himself, then he might be able to “turn this around and become something different than what I am right now.”

“I want to apologize to the court and everybody else,” he added. “I want to work on being a better person.”

Schirmer is to be sentenced July 9.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

City of Victoria plans workshop to determine fate of Sir John A. Macdonald statue

Conversations will happen as part of a reconciliation dialogue series in May 2020

Years of ‘horrific, violent accidents’ at Thetis Lake prompt plea to public

View Royal fire chief asks for an end to alcohol consumption at busy park

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital home to new cancer diagnostic suite

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted in murder of Saanich couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Supreme Court Judge rules medicinal marijuana company must vacate farm in Central Saanich

Evergreen Medicinal Supply Inc must vacate no later than Aug. 31, 2019

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Surrey court clerk files human rights complaint related to concussion

Deborah A. Ryane claims her employer discriminated against her on basis of mental disability

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Most Read